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Gifford continues community Covid-19 testing with drive-up service

Jul 7 2020, 9:09 AM

Of 1,470 community members tested, 10 positive results

 

CONTACTS:  Maryellen Apelquist, MEA Communications, 802-299-5593, [email protected]; Ashley Lincoln, Gifford Health Care, [email protected]

RANDOLPH, Vt., July 3, 2020—Gifford Medical Center, which provides COVID-19 testing through an appointment-only, drive-up service, continues to encourage community members to get tested — including individuals who are asymptomatic.

“We urge community members who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but want to be tested to make an appointment,” said Monica Boyd, director of quality and risk management at Gifford. “We are one of the few hospitals offering this type of expanded testing.”

As reported by NPR, public health officials agree that testing remains critical “to bring new cases down to a low enough level to allow everyday life to return to some semblance of normalcy.” Vermont is one of four states doing enough testing to suppress the virus, according to Harvard researchers.

“We are using this testing as a safety net around the community,” said Gifford Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joshua White. “Testing allows us to identify and address cases more quickly —including asymptomatic individuals — stop spread, and keep outbreaks small. This is part of our strategy to keep the community safe while we are more open and people begin to lead more normal lives.”

As of June 30, Gifford has facilitated COVID-19 testing for 1,470 community members — of those cases 10 had positive results — and averages 30-40 tests per day. Early in the week is generally busier: on Monday, June 29, 55 community members used the drive-up service.

“We initially had a lot of individuals looking for a negative COVID test result for their employers before going back to work,” said Boyd of the numbers. “Now I think we are conducting more testing related to travel, people who are back from vacation and just want to make sure they’re negative.”

Testing at Gifford is by appointment only, with no exceptions, and conducted drive-up style at the southern entrance of the medical center. Appointments are available between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. Community members are asked to wear a mask when they arrive and provide their name and date of birth to a nurse who will confirm registration before performing a nasal swab. Start to finish, the process takes no more than three minutes. Test results are usually available in two to three days.

To schedule a testing appointment, call Gifford Patient Registration at 802-728-7000.

For more information about COVID-19, visit giffordhealthcare.org/coronavirus-covid-19cdc.gov or healthvermont.gov.

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Reminder during COVID-19: All Gifford clinics are open. We encourage patients to schedule and keep their medical appointments. It is vital that we continue to provide care and treat members of our community so that medical conditions do not escalate. If a patient does not have a mask upon arrival for an appointment, Gifford will provide one.

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Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, Rochester, and White River Junction; and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department and inpatient unit; many surgical services; a day care; two adult day programs; and 30-bed Menig Nursing Home, which was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country in 2012. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to traditional hospital-based deliveries, and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care. The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.

 

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